Category Archives: punishment

Enfeebled England

Sinking further into moral squalor

Why is Britain so lacking in moral confidence? (In this, it is only the worst case of a malaise in the West.) Dalrymple points to the expansion of tertiary education, especially in non-technical subjects. He notes that large numbers of people

have been educated in injustice and grievance studies, which have had for their effect the dissolution of a sense of human beings as agents rather than victimised vectors of forces.

If murderers and other violent criminals behave in the way that they do,

it must be (sociology, psychology, and criminology teach) because of social forces beyond their control. Hence it is unjust to inflict punishment upon them. Punishment can only be justified where a man is a free agent and could have done otherwise; since he is never a free agent and could never have done otherwise, punishment is never justified. Millions now believe this.

Pusillanimity in the face of violent crime

Lawyers’ employment scheme

Prison, English-style

Prison, English-style

The revolving door of the criminal justice system

Dalrymple says (from 0:45) that he disagrees with the idea that prison should be, as he puts it,

a kind of hospital for criminals. That means you are saying criminals are ill.

The purpose of prison should be

the reduction of crime in the population, and the protection of the rest of the population.

A little cannabis resin helps this British prisoner relax

A little cannabis resin helps this British prisoner relax

The humanitarian theory of punishment is

very cruel. It is compatible both with ridiculous leniency and with revolting cruelty. If your theory is that punishment should be effective, it places no limits on what you can do to people.

Dalrymple points to the error

in thinking that prisons are there to reform people. It’s very good if they do — I have no objection — but that is not their purpose.

Most criminals, Dalrymple explains,

  • stop being criminal at the age of 35 to 39. In a sense they reform themselves
  • have done between five and 20 times as much as they have ever been accused of doing
A pair of English convicts in high spirits during one of the occasional recreational riots

A pair of English convicts in high spirits during one of the occasional recreational riots

If you put these two things together, Dalrymple says,

it would be an argument for longer prison sentences rather than shorter ones. In the end this would reduce the number of prisoners rather than increase them, because often it’s a revolving door: they come out, they commit another crime. It’s a very good scheme of employment for lawyers.

Prisoners take control of a wing of a British prison

Prisoners take control of a wing of a British jail

HMP Birmingham

HMP Birmingham, site of a recent especially exuberant riot

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A convict lets off steam by smashing up the prison

The Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange

The Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange: if your theory is that punishment should be effective, it places no limits on what you can do to people

Frivolity of Western criminal justice

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A mockery: Palais de Justice, Brussels

How liberal pœnology fosters Islamist terrorism

Dalrymple writes that the 2016 Brussels bombings

exposed the frivolity of the Belgian criminal-justice system, which it shares with the British and French systems, and several others, and which has turned the fight against crime into an elaborate and expensive—though lucrative—charade.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui possessed and used a Kalashnikov, which

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 08.55.51is not generally a sign of good citizenship or of a momentary lapse therefrom such as we may all from time to time suffer.

And

you would not have to be Sherlock Holmes to surmise that a man who had used a Kalashnikov before he went to Syria might be a dangerous man after returning.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.03.00Khalid El Bakraoui was

left at liberty.

One is struck, says Dalrymple,

not only by the leniency of the original sentence—the violent robbery of cars is not the result of a submission to momentary temptation—but by the iron determination of the system to keep him out of prison.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.06.29Given that

so many Islamist terrorists graduate seamlessly to politico-religious crime from common delinquency, one can say with tolerable certainty that one of the root causes of such terrorism in Europe is liberal pœnology, with its view that punishment is therapy and prisons are hospitals for the temporarily disturbed or naughty.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.08.59Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.14.05Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.12.39

You do realise, don’t you, that your horse is homosexual?

Equus africanus asinus

Equus africanus asinus

The law in England today, writes Dalrymple, is an

ass.

The British State

does not know how to deter, prevent, or punish.

In England, where

an aggressive popular culture glorifies egotistical impulsivity and denigrates self-control,

the violent and evil

may destroy other people’s lives with impunity, for the British State does not care in the least about protecting them,

Equus ferus caballus

Equus ferus caballus

being

indifferent to and incapable of the one task that inescapably belongs to it: preserving the peace and ensuring that its citizens may go about their lawful business in safety.

The result is that England has

the highest rate of (real) crime in the Western world.

But that does not mean the British State is inactive. It takes some things very seriously indeed. For example, there is the case of the Oxford student who, slightly drunk after celebrating the end of his exams, approached a mounted policeman. ‘Excuse me,’ he said. ‘Do you realise your horse is gay?’

The policeman called two squad cars to his aid, and, in a city in which it is notoriously difficult to interest the police in so trivial a matter as robbery or burglary, they arrived almost at once. The mounted policeman thought that the young man’s remark was likely to ’cause harassment, alarm or distress’. He was arrested and charged under the Public Order Act for having made a ‘homophobic remark’ and spent the night in jail. Brought before the magistrates the following day, he was fined.

As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands

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Menninger: ‘All the crimes committed by all the jailed criminals do not equal in social damage that of the crimes committed against them.’

Menningerialism is fully compatible with the most revolting severity

Leafing through Karl Menninger’s The Crime of Punishment (1968), Dalrymple comes across this passage:

The very word justice irritates scientists….Behavioural scientists regard it as…absurd to invoke the question of justice in deciding what to do with a woman who cannot resist her propensity to shoplift….This sort of behavior has to be controlled; it has to be discouraged; it has to be stopped.

Dalrymple comments:

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 07.55.01Cutting off her hands would not only do the trick in her case, but would surely deter others, especially if carried out in public. What objection, then, could there be? That the treatment (not punishment, of course) was disproportionate? But disproportionality depends upon the notion of justice, the very mention of which irritates behavioural scientists. That such treatment would be brutal? But brutality is a moral category, not a scientific one, that must likewise irritate Menningerial behavioural scientists.

Menningerialism

involves an attempt in the name of science to empty the world of moral categories, and its failure is pre-ordained by our very nature as human beings.

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The doctrine of the Real Him

Lavrentiy Beria

Lavrentiy Beria

This is a watered-down secular version of Christian redemption, writes Dalrymple,

with Man in the place of God. Inside every person there is a core of goodness that is more real, more fundamental, than any evil act he might have committed, and which it is the purpose of punishment to bring to the surface. Punishment is therapeutic, redemptive, in purpose and intention.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that whole-life sentences to prison are against Man’s fundamental rights

because they eliminate the possibility of repentance and redemption (known in the trade as rehabilitation). The judges of a court that is supreme in matters relating to supposed human rights for a continent on which, within living memory, tens of millions of people have been systematically starved or abused to death or put to death industrially on an unimaginably vast scale, could conceive of no crime so terrible that the person who committed it was beyond earthly redemption.

Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler

On this basis people like Beria or Himmler

would have been eligible for parole, provided only that they showed themselves reformed characters.

A serial killer once upbraided Dalrymple

for suggesting that he – who had kidnapped at least five children, sexually abused and tortured them to death, then buried them in a remote place in the moors – should never be released from prison, on the grounds that he spent much of his time making Braille books. He had redeemed himself, and cancelled out the torture and murder of five children, by subsequent good works, expressing the Real Him; he had paid his debt to society, as if good and evil were entries in a system of double-entry bookkeeping, so that if one did enough good works in advance, one would have earned the right to torture and murder five children.

Men

can change; this is their glory and their burden, for it is the capacity to change that renders them responsible for their actions; but what they do may be irreparable.

How the victims of evil are doubly punished

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 03.31.33The lack of proper punishment of the perpetrators of evil, writes Dalrymple, is

a punishment of the victims of it, a punishment that is often long-lasting and even rather like a life sentence. This is because it removes from the victims all confidence that there is justice in the world or that anybody cares what happens to them. Their experiences and their feelings are of no account; they (the people who have them) are nothing, no more than insects under the feet of society.

Firm punishment after due process will

reduce the level of vengefulness in society rather than increase it. Man is vengeful by nature, inclined to lash out at those who do him wrong; but this tendency, inglorious as it might be, is reduced by an assurance that the wrongdoer will come to justice, even if it is justice tempered by mercy according to mitigating circumstances. Where, however, there is no such justice, private vengefulness flourishes.

The sentimentally therapeutic view of prison

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 09.05.59Dalrymple discusses the British intelligentsia’s

long-held wish that the punishment imposed by the criminal justice system be therapeutic rather than merely protective and deterrent.

Criminals, he points out,

know very well the effectiveness of punishment, which is why they mete it out to each other with the utmost celerity if one of their number breaks their code.

The sentimentalists encourage

the bad faith of so many criminals, who know they have society on the run.